The Development in the Auditor´s Current and Future Role in Small Sized Businesses as a Result of the Implementation and Development of Online Accounting Programs

Sisse Bohm & Bobby Hallager Nielsen

Student thesis: Master thesis


This master thesis examines how various online accounting programs have affected the auditor’s role, in small sized businesses. Furthermore, the thesis examines how the future accounting tasks will be divided between auditors and online accounting programs. Through empirical and analytical efforts, this thesis explores how auditors and the accounting programs see the development in the industry and what their expectations for the future are. Empirical and theoretical approach This master thesis is largely based on empirical studies, which is characterized by qualitative research and by using both the inductive and the abductive approach. The empirical research consists of seven interviews. Five of which are with registered or authorized auditors whose client-bases consist of small sized businesses, and two of which are with the two largest online accounting programs in Denmark.
The aim and focus of the above-mentioned interviews are to explore, analyze, and discuss the future of the accounting-profession. Through the empirical findings, the thesis examines how tasks are divided between the auditors and the online accounting programs. Additionally, through the empirical data, the thesis examines which functions these programs plan to develop in the future and how this will impact the relationship between the businesses and their accountants. The empirical studies will be supplemented by theory in the form of legislations. The combination of empirical data and theory, helps answering the thesis’ problem statement and research questions.
New findings
The auditor’s role in small sized businesses has undergone a process of change, initiated and continuously influenced by the development of the online accounting programs. The future role of the accountants will be as a value oriented advisor and not a bookkeeper or a controlling supervisor. Furthermore, the bookkeeping, VAT handling, and the annual report will be automated and simplified by the online accounting programs.

EducationsMSc in Auditing, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2017
Number of pages144